I can, for instance, think of one person who could've been eliminated this week.
I wonder why Nigel asked Mitchell and Robert to dance again, since they both more or less repeat their solos (Robert's throws some variations into his, but it's largely the same routine), and which I doubt would (and evidently did not) make a difference in terms of assessing the one over the other. Were Nigel et al just buying time to try to decide? If so, well, we know how that turned out.
Looking on the bright side of things (for once), having dancers dance again shows the amount of preparation involved in any given solo -- not only do they have to have the right music ready, they all have a more-or-less specific routine in mind from which they deviate at their own risk. Viewers who remember season 2 saw the same thing for a spell, when dancers who were just eliminated were given one last chance to show Ameriker what they eliminated, in which case they just performed the same solo prior to getting axed. (This arrangement didn't last long -- the only two contestants whom I distinctly remember doing two solos are Martha and Dmitry.)
On the whole, though, another week with the top 20 will give us a clearer picture of what the dancers can do, and maybe another week with 20 dancers will give us a second chance for the usual Top 20 Wade number that we missed out on this year. It's double-edged sword, however: The one bad thing about another week with this many kids -- I mean, aside from having to endure Robert's infantile histrionics -- is that 20 is a lot of dancers to keep track of! Just for starters, we have three whole girls whose initials are MM, thus causing me no small pain when I'm taking notes. (This from a show that already has two MM judges/choreographers; they might as well go for trifecta and invite Eminem on to perform.) I've had to come up with some mnemonics to straighten out the M&Ms, thusly:
That'd be Miranda Malesky. Normally ringletted with a glorious head of curls, when she pulls it back, she kind of looks like Sarah Silverman.
Or maybe not. (Incidentally, I'm surprised how GIS'ing Sarah Silverman can lead to... inappropriate images with extraordinary rapidity.)
In the spirit of the results episode, let me try again: Miranda looks like she was born in the 1940s... err, let me try a third time: I mean, she looks fab in a minidress and go-go boots, a veritable (and absolutely adorable) mod.
She ought to think seriously about rocking that as her everyday look, because she would be, in the words of the Bard, "Admired Miranda! / Indeed, the top of admiration!"
Melanie Moore. Short hair, which makes remembering her much easier, as, I suppose, is her apparent status as early-season frontrunner.
Missy Morelli, self-described sexpot who, a lot of people including are claiming, bears a striking resemblance to season 3's own alleged sexpot, Jessi Peralta.
A recent exchange I had with friend Areen on their putative similarities:
Meee:And how can I argue with that?
So is that a yes or a no?
I have no idea! I look at Missy, and then I look at Jessi, but all I see is the face Jessi's making.
How about now?
Sometimes I don't get this show.
I've noticed that the duets which elicit standing ovations make no impression on me, something that's been happening for at least a couple seasons now (or, actually, forever). This time, the two routines that immediately set me to thinking about my deficiency are Melanie and Marko's statue number, and the
On the other hand, I actively wish that I'd "gotten" the quickstep, since it involves a pre-season favorite of mine who's the world's motherloving champ in quickstep dancing a charming routine, exemplified by the one section where Iveta and Nick peel apart while both maintaining their frames before getting back into closed position. But alas, the rest of the routine doesn't live up to this moment; I'd like to say that the fault lies with the costuming -- the ruffles of Iveta's skirt completely swallow up the lines of her legs and, further, distract me from her feet, which I assume are a fairly important component in quickstep appreciation -- but I'm open to the possibility that it just isn't a hot routine. (Perhaps the season I watched of SYTYCD Australia spoiled the US version for me -- nearly every week Down Under featured an undeniably classic routine, and often, multiple great performances.)
I don't say that to separate myself from everyone else as a snob, because I'd love to
But you know what? I think I make this complaint nearly every single season, so whatever, I'm going to look at the half-full part of the glass: the three routines I liked, in ascending order:
Sasha and Alexander - Contemporary
Sasha dominates this number. I can't say whether or not Alexander's face is too empty, as the judges point out, because Sasha grabs the spotlight and never lets go. She has such pristine movement, and her limbs are just so great to look at. I don't mean to say that she's got legs like Iveta, who, by the way...
... what great gams! What stunning stems!
But back to Sasha's ineffable limbs: she has a quality, like water or something equally ungraspable, that captivates me. Magnetism. Maybe that's it.
Ryan and Ricky - Lyrical Hip Hop
Kind of on the same tip as the Sasha/Alexander number, one of the dancers here is the sun and stars, and the other is a peripheral satellite. Ricky isn't bad -- he's a little loose in places, and sometimes he looks like he's moving as opposed to dancing hip hop -- but I did not expect Ryan to bring the murder. She's obviously danced hip hop before given how sharp and articulated her movements are. Although I agree that her interpretation of the routine's emotional narrative is shallow, I'm amazed at how well she handles the dancing. I can honestly buy into her as another of the season's beasts. And hey, she's going after the hipster vote, too:
And a shout out to Christopher Scott. Even if his number is, story-wise, a variation of NappyTabs, he's anything but a rote regurgitation of "jazz with chest pops" (courtesy of MGK)... or maybe he is, but Ryan, beast that she is, lifts everything out of the realm of sentimentality.
Chris and Ashley - Hip Hop
Never underestimate the power of cleverness and fun, even if both of them seem to tire near the end. (Chris Scott, SYTYCD hip-hop savior?)
Mind you, all of these are far from perfect, but they're the ones I unambiguously appreciated.
Now, back to the hate:
Miranda and Robert - Jive
An energetic shambles. I'm baffled at the praise it gets from the judges, because neither Miranda nor Robert are grounded -- they both float throughout the dance -- and Robert has a lot of trouble dancing through the transitions. On top of that, the routine is like a desert in terms of closed holds/partnering (I'm only now cluing in to the lack of genuine ballroom in SYTYCD ballroom numbers).
What's worse, Robert actually talks like Urkel at one point during rehearsals, and I cannot respect a man who willingly patterns himself on Urkel. In the annals of iconic black nerds from the '90s, he couldn't have picked Carlton instead and thus mitigate 25% of my hate for him?
I'm also sorely disappointed in Wadi and Missy's Jazz. Wadi confirms my fears here -- stiff back, a similar problem with dancing through transitions, a general reluctance to embrace the fierceness of the parts of the routine in between the big tricks. In short, he looks lost.
At least the group routine is awesome, which makes two Sonya routines featuring a buttload of dancers that I like (dating back to another last season). I think I like her best when she plays around with stylized anonymity (which is my favorite aspect of the Jabbawockeez, by the way) and abrades all the nuances and tics of the individuals into something homogenized, cold, mechanistic, and this time, a little bit sleazy.
The asynchronous head-bobbing that bookends the routine slays me.
How far we've come! I remember a time when a season was half-over before we started getting shirtlessness as a matter of course, but here's Alexander in his first introduction onto the show:
So he technically has a vest on -- give him time, and I'm sure that'll be gone, to be replaced by a Speedo. (And how a Speedo might replace a vest, I'll defer to the fervid imaginations of you, my dear readers.)
Despite my kvetching about Robert, I'm stunned at the lack of an obvious COREY (i.e. tween heartthrob) for me to loathe this season. Whom do we have that might fit the bill before the season's out?
Jess? Too obsequious. And with his desperate attempts at being entertaining (his "weird" "noises," his use of baby profanity), he's like an infantile version of Robert, which I guess translates to not even being a gleam in a face-puller's eye.
Nick? Too tall.
Maybe Alexander? He'd be unbearably pretty if he only got rid of that beard. Also, are swarthy types allowed to become COREYs? (The only one that comes to mind is Nathan, but he's an exception, not the rule.)
To be honest, the closest thing to a tween magnet in fact crosses the gender divide in the form of Melanie -- a quirky, relatable girl who nonetheless has something that makes her amazing and special, i.e. her dancing. Tween catnip, in other words. I'm mildly surprised she hasn't change her name to Bella by now.
Let me it be said that I do once in a while indulge in a cheap shot or two:
Or three: Jordan's solo makes up in vigor what it lacks in class.
Yeah, glad I'm not the only one who noticed.
Here's a better look:
And she's apparently a big fan of Alexander's...
... about which Christopher Scott seems put out.
Either that, or he's pissed at Ryan Di Lello's giant meat-head for blocking his view.
Using my magic internet powers, I have unearthed Cat Deeley's filmic debut, entitled, "Seduction of the Cheezburgers." It looks sort of like a student film, so pardon the quality. (Rated PG-13 for suggestiveness, adult situations, and pattie-on-pattie action.)
Hooray for happy endings!